The Life of Superstar and Survivor Halle Berry

John Wick star Halle Berry did most of her own stunts in the new action film — undergoing grueling training that left her with 3 broken ribs. 👀 But the Oscar winner is no stranger to overcoming challenges. This is her story.

The Life of Halle Berry

She was born Maria Halle Berry on August 14, 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio to a black father and white mother. Her parents divorced when she was 4. Berry and her sister were raised by her mom. She grew up a biracial teen in a predominantly white neighborhood. In 1986, at 19, She was the 1st runner-up of the Miss USA pageant. Three years later, she moved to New York to pursue a career in modeling and acting but she quickly ran out of money and moved into a homeless shelter.

In 1989, she was cast in the short-lived entertainment TV series living Dolls, a spin-off of Who's the Boss? At one point during a taping, Berry collapsed and fell into a coma. She was then diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Berry’s first entertainment film role was in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever in 1991. In 1993, she married baseball player David Justice. After they separated in 1996, she revealed on The Oprah Winfrey Show that she was left feeling suicidal. The couple divorced in 1997.

Two years later, Berry produced and starred in the HBO biopic introducing Dorothy Dandridge, for which she won an Emmy and Golden Globe. “I’ve learned through this project, I totally empowered myself, and realized that if I dare dream it, I can make it happen. And Dorothy’s given me that gift. So, I want to produce more, not just for me, but for other people of color — of all people.”

In 2000, she portrayed the superhero Storm In X-Men. In 2001, she married singer Eric Benét. That same year, at 35, she played the wife of a man on death row in Monster’s Ball. For that role, she made history as the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. She followed this moment up with a role in the 2002 James Bond blockbuster Die Another Day.

She then starred in the cinema thriller Gothika, and superhero movie Catwoman — which was widely panned in the cinema world. In 2005, she divorced Benét, citing his infidelities. Two years later, Berry received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2008, she gave birth to Nahla, her daughter with French-Canadian model Gabriel Aubry. They separated in 2010. In 2012, she starred in Dark Tide with Olivier Martinez, who she married in 2013. They had a son, Maceo, but after two years of marriage, they announced their divorce.

In 2014, Berry launched an entertainment production company called 606 Films. In 2019, at 52, audiences saw her play an assassin in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, in which she did her own stunts.

As an Academy Award-winning actress, film and TV producer, Halle Berry has broken racial barriers, advocates for women and people of color and fights ageism in Hollywood.